Wangechi Mutu
American artist



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Wangechi Mutu
American artist
Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Birth Date

June 22, 1972

ebrowne's picture


Wangechi Mutu, the Kenyan-American, the feminist, the Afro-futurist, the mother. 

She makes art directed at science fiction nerds everywhere.  Well, her art isn’t specifically for science fiction nerds but based on the fact that Mutu comments on current social issues such as race, gender, and power dynamics using cyborgs, goddesses and hybrid-species, it’s safe to assume that the interests of science fiction nerds will be piqued on first sight. And who doesn’t have a little science fiction nerdiness inside of them?

Born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1972, Mutu was always a little different. For instance, she loved looking at her mother’s tropical disease book (her mother was a nurse so it’s not that weird). Mutu explained, “There is nothing more insanely visually interesting and repulsive than a body infected with tropical disease; these are diseases that grow and fester and become larger than the being that they have infected, almost.” She was definitely an odd bird for being more interested than creeped out but when you see her work, you’ll expect no less. By the time she was 17 she left Kenya to study at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales and would never lived in Kenya again. Instead, after her studies she hopped a plane to New York to study at Parsons. When that didn’t float her boat, she moved on to study at Cooper Union and eventually, in 2000, she earned her MFA from Yale. Before she knew it she was doing solo exhibits across the globe from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Tate Modern in London to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She was a jet-setter, to be sure!

Wangechi Mutu does it all, medium-wise. She does video, sculpture, and painting, but her big thing is collage. She collects pics from “illustrated medical texts, fashion glossies, ethnographic periodicals like National Geographic, and pornography.” She uses these magazines to create fantastical creatures to comment of the messed-up-ness of stereotyping based on race and sex. And if that’s not badass enough for you, she also collaborated with the musician Santigold on a video piece. You go, girl!




  1. Cotter, Holland. "A Survey Of Wangechi Mutu At Brooklyn Museum". N.p., 2013. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.
  2. Willis, Deborah. "Wangechi Mutu". BOMB Magazine. N.p., 2014. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.
  3. Meier, Allison. "The Grotesque Beauty Of Wangechi Mutu". Hyperallergic. N.p., 2013. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.
  4. Karefa- Johnson, Gabriella. "Wangechi Mutu's "Fantastic Journey" Opens At The Brooklyn Musuem". Vogue. N.p., 2017. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu (born 1972) is a Kenyan-American visual artist known primarily for her painting, sculpture, film and performance work. Born in Kenya, she has lived and established her career in New York for over twenty years. Mutu's work has directed the female body as subject through collage painting, immersive installation, and live and video performance all the while exploring questions of self-image, gender constructs, cultural trauma and environmental destruction.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Wangechi Mutu.